Solyndra is shutting its doors and planning to file for bankruptcy, according to a statement from the company.
"Regulatory and policy uncertainties in recent months created significant near-term excess supply and price erosion," says Brian Harrison, CEO and president of Solyndra.
"Raising incremental capital in this environment was not possible. This was an unexpected outcome and is most unfortunate."
Approximately 1,100 full-time and temporary employees who work for the manufacturing company of commercial rooftop solar products will be laid off.
Employees told KRON 4 they were shocked by the news—finding out about the closure only when they drove to work Wednesday and were given manila folders and told to leave the premises.
A Newark resident who works near the Fremont campus told Patch that security guards are demanding employees leave the facility.
Robert Marsella worked at Solyndra for more than two years. The engineering program manager said he and other workers first noticed something amiss when they couldn't access their company email accounts on Tuesday night.
Things became more ominious on Wednesday. Marsella was commuting from his San Francisco home when a vendor told him he wasn't allowed to enter the Solyndra property. He was also contacted by worried co-workers.
"At that point, we knew something was fishy," he said.
When Marsella arrived at the Fremont facility, he and others were taken to the Human Relations Department. They were given a packet, explaining what was happening.
There were also "all-hands meetings" during the day for different shifts.
Marsella said he had heard over the past few months that Solyndra was looking for additional funding. However, he thought any financial constraints would happen next year.
"Today's occurrences were totally out of the blue," he said.
Marsella said the reaction at the Fremont facility ranged from employees who took the news in stride to those who were visibly upset.
"It's a disappointment. We had a great thing going," said Marsella. "I worked with a lot of talented people. It would have been nice to see the company take off like many of us hoped it would."
Marsella added the plant closure could have an adverse effect on some of the Obama administration's plans for jobs and green technology.
"The industry as a whole took a hit today," he said.
Marsella noted he is in a better position than some of his former co-workers. He's 29, single and has been in contact with other firms in the business.
The company received stimulus dollars as part of a $535 million federal loan guarantee in 2009, in addition to venture capital support, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Last May, President Obama visited the plant and touted it as "a testament to American ingenuity and dynamism," according to news reports.
“Solyndra’s struggle is one shared by other American manufacturers attempting to scale-up operations in a very competitive global economy," said Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont).
"Although there has been criticism of the amount of public funding received by the company, we must recognize that our fiercest foreign competitors often receive substantially more assistance from their own governments."
Founded in 2005, Solyndra’s Fremont facility encompasses approximately 800,000 square feet. The company has offices in the United States, Switzerland, Germany, Italy and France, according to its website.